I’ve enjoyed Phyllis Tickle’s books. One of her recent books is The Words of Jesus, published in February of this year.
In The Words of Jesus Tickle describes a third way of knowing Scripture. "That in addition to the approaches of the literal and the metaphorical camps there is a third way of knowing Scriptures. There is--for want of a better word--actualness." (Emphasis is the authors), page 38. It is taking Tickle pages to describe the meaning and fullness of her term “actualness.” I don't have a full grasp of it yet. It seems to be a "yes-and," yes to literalism, yes to metaphorical understandings, and yes to this third actualness.
I have more reading to do in the book, then a lot of chewing on it, letting it rattle around inside me while my introverted self tries to assimilate it.
This book is divided into two parts. The first fifty pages or so consists of the author’s reflection on how the recorded words that Jesus said fit within the descriptions of his actions in the Gospels. The remainder of the book consists of the words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels without the Story that contains them. Tickle combines Jesus’ words in groupings that compliment each other. Her reflections at the beginning make a good, thoughtful book by on its own. And the Words of Jesus can stand on their own as well.
Once again Phyllis Tickle puts together good, as well as important, information.